View Full Version : render non-perfect outlines?

12-01-2012, 08:53 AM
Does anyone know a way or a plugin that will render outlines of an object that aren't perfect? Kind of a squiggly, hand-drawn look?

I saw this link:


but it renders polygon outlines, not object outlines.

Any ideas?

12-01-2012, 09:28 AM
You could render the outlines in LW and then post-process them in Photoshop. If you're looking for a "hand drawn" look that would probably get you closer with less tweaking.

12-01-2012, 09:41 AM
Hm. I hadn't thought of that. I'll be making a pass at his with After Effects anyway so maybe I could do it there. Certainly worth some tests.


12-01-2012, 09:50 AM
Use unReal and put a procedural texture on the brush size.

If you do a search for sketch look you'll also find a couple of threads that describe techniques using displacement maps.

12-01-2012, 09:52 AM
You can introduce turbulence to normal vector, bump vector, or spot position using 3rd party tools.






12-01-2012, 10:07 AM
Maybe this could help?

12-01-2012, 11:20 AM
This is the look I'm going after. Flat. No color, no shading. Outlines only.


12-01-2012, 11:27 AM
AE->Effects->Turbulent Displace: this can be animated over time.
If your model is subpatch you can apply animated turbulent displacement on it plus the above mentioned techniques.

12-01-2012, 11:29 AM
I made video tutorial showing mine technique.
You can see it here

12-01-2012, 11:37 AM
@bazsa73 Right. Should be easy enough, but I was hoping for a single solution.

@sensei Nice, but I can't have shading. Outlines only.

12-01-2012, 11:38 AM
Shading is result of using such, not other gradient keys. Use black and white keys both with step mode.

But you can't use anti-aliasing. Otherwise you will have something like this (it's step mode b&w- grey effect is pure result of anti-aliasing):


But you can get ride of it by using logic nodes in image/pixel filter stage. >=0.5 -> 1.0, <0.5 -> 0.0.

12-01-2012, 01:52 PM
I got this just by turning on Silhouette Edges, 20 pxls.


12-01-2012, 03:29 PM
Jeric, I'll see your Silhouette Edges and raise you a texture displacement in combination. :)

Tried to get the lines to be a little squiggly. Very delicate balance. Still some interior artifacts.


12-01-2012, 03:36 PM
I guess I should ask what the object it in the first place.
If it's something rather simple and angular you might be able to get away with just using DP edge node and breaking it up a bit with procedurals. (a little more of a "sketch" look rather than the squiggly line).

12-01-2012, 03:37 PM
Ha! I think the squiggliness is maybe better suited to AE (or whatev)'s strengths -- hard to say w/o being the art director.


12-01-2012, 04:30 PM
just another one for fun. :dance:


12-01-2012, 05:17 PM
Nice! All the waviness is from geometry displacement? And silhouette edges???

12-01-2012, 05:33 PM
I added anther element to this one.
A gradient using incidence angle and stepped keys (to keep the abrupt line from black to white in order to retain the "graphic" feel). That's the heavier black sections.

12-01-2012, 06:50 PM
Cheatin', in my book. ;)

What's up w/that little bit of grey on the teeth?

12-01-2012, 08:11 PM
just another one for fun. :dance:

Hey, I know that shark! :)

12-01-2012, 09:36 PM
Cheatin', in my book. ;)

What's up w/that little bit of grey on the teeth?

Good eye. That's the last little spit of a shadow. Part of the recipe is to blow out the exposure.... full on radiosity, white background and big diffusion. Just had to bump diffuse up from 150 to 170. Don't want to post again cuz I think I may be leading the thread astray. But, trust me, it's gone.

Hey, I know that shark! :)

Lol, yeah he's my latest baby so he gets all the attention... until the next one. And then , I'm afraid, the shark will sleep with the fishes. :D

12-02-2012, 12:58 AM
So I took a stab at it. Using Lightwave and a compositing program. I used Nuke but I'm sure After Effects could work as well.

Step 1: I created a box inside modeler, assigned it a shader and brought into Layout.

Step 2: Make the color of your box black and go into the boxes preferences.


Step 3: I set it to render edges specifically Sharp Creases, made them 3 pixels thick and a white color.

Step 4: Render, your outline will be an Alpha you can use inside your compositing program to distort the edges.


Not sure if this is what your looking for, but if so and you have any questions on my process post em up.

Note: You may have to mess with your edge properties depending on the object to figure out which grabs the right edge for you.


Heres a render I did with one of my characters.

12-02-2012, 02:21 PM
I think the OP wanted a great deal more squiggly, such that even sitting still, the squiggle would occur. In the above, the motion masks any squiggliness.

EDIT: here's an example of a squigglevision style 3d rendering. The squiggling is PURELY done in post, in AE, using Turbulent Displacement.


12-02-2012, 06:30 PM
..... re: squiggle lines......
A HA! (It's so rarely I get to use that phrase :))

So, I get it..... this is best done in post.
But, if you really REALLY want to keep it in LW.....

Leave your geometry alone. Render lines (silhouette, sharp creases .... whatever).
Put a "glass" wall in between object and camera. Distort THAT geometry and use the refraction effect to distort the lines.
Phew.... that was gnawing at the back of my brain the whole weekend.
(was thinking, man, if I just had some kind of distortion lens on a camera..... then :foreheads.... make it!)


12-02-2012, 07:19 PM
GRUDGE MATCH!!! :twak:

OK, Joe Poe, IF that's yer real name.... here's a totally LW version, no post (although I did find a bug in AE-CS6 while prepping the upload-- jfc, I'm freekin' cursed that way....)

This is a similar effect but accomplished via STEPPED keyframes of a displacement procedural. Note the 'steppiness' of the displacement versus the smoothness of the rotation, which is just normal keyframing. Without the stepping, it doesn't look sorta kinda hand-drawn, which I believe is the whole point of the effect.


Nice virtual wobbly glass! What does it look like animated?


12-02-2012, 07:41 PM
:D what does it look like animated? I have no freakin' clue. But I guess we're about to find out. :hey:

12-03-2012, 04:32 AM
Not sure if you're all over-egging the pudding, but this is done with no extra geometry added, no filters or plugins added outside LightWave, and no complicated stuff.

Technique is:

1) Change your surfaces to pure white colour with 100% luminous and 0% diffusion. Everything else can remain if you like, as is, or you can get rid of things like bump etc.
2) Turn on all Edges except the 'Other Edges' in the Edges tab under Object Properties, for every object. Make the edges as thick as you like.
3) No need to render with radiosity, like the original image.
4) If you VPR it you should see a black outline version of your object, without the wobbly lines.
5) Make a big flat plane in Modeler, 100% transparent, refraction index of 1.01, and add a bump to it (I used Fractal Noise, Texture Value 80%, Scale 50mm in X,Y,Z, but this will depend on the scene scale)
6) Slide the big flat plane in Layout to be in front of the camera so it covers the scene. If the camera is going to move, parent it to the camera. Make sure the plane is facing towards the camera, not away.
7) Make sure Render Lines is turned on in Render Globals, under the Render tab, and also Refraction.

Job done. You'll need to play with the bump map settings, but this'll work with any scene, is animatable, and totally LW. It'll also show up in VPR so you can tweak your bump settings to your heart's content.


12-03-2012, 05:02 AM
Kopperdrake, that sounds pretty much exactly like what JoePoe did in #24.

I think all these solutions are going to give slightly different animated looks.

stiff paper
12-03-2012, 03:19 PM
Uneven outlines with UnReal Xtreme2:


12-03-2012, 03:54 PM
No Plugins. No 'glass'. Not really useable, but still fun. :D

A turbulance texture on the Time Sweep of the Advanced Camera.

You can put the texture in the Horizontal FoV, but you might not notice the displacement without playing with the Texture Value or overcrank the Layer Opacity.

The down side is that the Advanced Camera takes extra long to render. Of course, this type of rendering is super quick so the extra render time isn't bad compared to normal renders.

Also, the effect is more pronounced toward the outside edges than it is in the middle.

12-03-2012, 04:26 PM
Interesting. I don't think I've ever heard of "Timesweep".

That's, what, 5 different techniques?

12-03-2012, 04:28 PM
Cool thread guys. Clap clap!

12-03-2012, 05:23 PM
Phew, what a day....
More good stuff here. Kopperdrake.... basically same animal (great minds :beerchug:) but thanks for smacking me with obvious stick re: radiosity, lum. difuse!
DB cool. That's what I was looking for... something on a lens. Never would have thought to try Time Sweep.

So let me try and whip up a quick anim of the "glass" technique.
Umm.... It's been a while...how do you animate again?? (only half kidding..... :oye:)

12-04-2012, 04:50 AM
LOL Joe - apologies - for some reason post 24 was the only one I skipped! Suck eggs much? ;)

12-04-2012, 08:17 AM
Probably not what you're looking for...but I still love this technique. Might be worth a check: http://vimeo.com/5660045

12-04-2012, 11:18 AM
A little rough around the edges :D:D Sorry bad pun.